Not too far from here and not too long ago she sent him off with one last novel feeling, a parting gift adding to the collection of unique experiences she imprinted on him. He found her suddenly troubled. The trouble was not in paradise as one might expect the cliché to go, rather the trouble was back home amongst the menagerie of perfunctory activities he was not a part of. He was on a vacation with his father and brother right before heading back to university. She was gainfully and newly employed, out of her depth, and attempting to establish herself not only as an adult, but also as a keyboard warrior. She was trying her best to overcome the steep initial learning curve of life’s full independence and code herself into a new profession.
Not too far from here she was 429.27 miles away from him. He, a man of action, was helpless. Helpless to confront the deception and the lies; the mistrust and the misdeeds; the infidelity of the heart and the corruption of the spirit. There was nothing more to be said, but he felt the need to speak for hours. If he could just buy time, he felt he could piece together the shards of glass that shattered below his feet. The bullet proof glass he presumed to be sturdy of his weight tauntingly danced with the moonlight beneath his still feet. He reached for a piece of the reinforced window only to see a mangled reflection in a mirror.
If he was a better man he would have seen the trouble brewing. If he was a better man perhaps there wouldn’t have been trouble in the first place. If he was a better man, perhaps he would not have been with such a partner. It’s difficult to say if the fault was in his nature or in his recent actions. Oh for it to be an action, to be a moment in time or to be a lapse in judgment. For the fault to be in his nature is to inevitably lead to questioning all that which his name represents. It is to question if his nature is worthy of another and if the crafting of his creation is even adequate to the task of partner-hood. How, could two such people whose names nearly conjoined, suddenly be miles apart in every important value and aspect of life? These questions vacuum the oxygen out of him.
Not too far from here, he stumbled out of a stairwell back towards his room. His strong legs barely able to support his weight. It was then, ever a self-conscious one, that he realized this must be what despair feels like. Hope had fallen into an abyss, punched in by a blind right hook that was precipitated by only the mildest of left jabs. One more novel feeling to send him on his way.
The click of the stairwell door closing behind him reverberated in his ears, jolting his breathing and slapping his gnarled mind. He had to pull it together for the last days of his family trip, He opened their hotel door, plainly stated they had broken up and assumed his position in bed. She haunted his dreams that night and for many nights thereafter. The ocean provided no respite.
Now he’s sitting in a beach chair slamming down another cold one, not too far from there. The soft crashes of the waves and easy chatter of his companions are his company this evening. The waves are rhythmic, but never find a beat, in a constant state of catering to a fickle conductor. He is largely back to his old ways, which means pre-She. He can be callous and cold as long as it serves his productivity. He is unpredictably hellfire with a fuse that lives by a spark-plug. There is perhaps more warmth than the pre-She version, a remaining vestige of her handiwork. That warmth takes a backseat though and is only brought forth when summoned and when conditions are sufficient. Before, she met these conditions on even her worst of days, but doesn’t anymore. The desire to make her laugh is a relic of a bygone age and her rare smile does not elicit the same from him. Her hair not as lively, her hips not as entrancing. She is but a familiar face, a person who taught him despair and that to truly know another is a farce of the heart manipulating the mind. All that is left in his regards for her is the desire for machinations and adventures. There’s safety in these though, because this is when he feels truly at home and that will never be enough, regardless of how far from here she is.